Professor Colin Barnes


As a disabled person and special school survivor I have been involved with the disabled people’s movement throughout my academic career. I am a member of several local, national and international organisations controlled and run by disabled people. I established the Centre for Disability Studies (CDS) as the British Council of Organisations of Disabled People’s (BCODP’s) Disability Research Unit (DRU) here in the School of Sociology and Social Policy in 1990 and was its Director until 2008. I also founded the independent publisher: The Disability Press in 1996 and an electronic archive of writings on disability issues: The Disability Archive UK in 1999.

To-date the Disability Press has published ten edited collections and two sole authored items: one research report and one novel.  The Disability Archive is a freely available resource containing over 900 items including books, monographs, journal articles, research reports and polemics. The Archive is periodically expanded to include relevant items as and when they become available. 

I am also an Invited member of Adjunct Faculty, Critical Disability Studies Programme, York University, Toronto, Canada – from 1998.

My research interests include the following.

  • Theories of disability
  • Social policy and disabled people
  • Disability politics and culture
  • Inclusive education
  • Disability and the majority world
  • Emancipatory/participatory research methodologies and practice
  • Cultural studies and popular culture
  • Sociology of deviance
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>